BY GENE NARDI
On Saturday, Dec. 27, the South Florida Fair celebrated its fourth annual 5K race at Okeeheelee Park. The event drew runners from as far away as Pennsylvania.
More than 400 runners competed, from ages 5 to 80, in various divisions.
The race is staged each year to promote the annual fair at the South Florida Fairgrounds, which opens Friday, Jan. 16.
The competition has grown in popularity each year since its inception.
“The race is a fun way to kick off the fair each year, which is in its 103rd year,” South Florida Fair Race Director Iva Grady said. “On Jan. 17, we’ll also have a kids’ one-mile race event inside the fair.”
Each year, the fair has a theme, and this year it is Las Vegas.
All participants who finished the race received medals, and awards were given out to division winners.
“We had 16 overall divisions for men and women, from under 9 to 70 and over,” Grady said.
At the conclusion of the race, the event staff provided snacks for the participants, including fruit, baked goods, water and juice, to help the runners recover after the race.
The morning was warm and humid, and runners looked forward to rehydrating after the race while enjoying a little snack.
ABOVE: Runners of all ages fill the streets of Okeeheelee Park, attempting to pass one another in the early stages of the race.